1017 PE Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ever pound back a dozen beers in one evening and then get late night cravings? Chances are you have, otherwise Taco Bell wouldn’t have penned “Fourthmeal.” There is nothing like drunk eating as far as I am concerned. The Dutch have perfected the business end of late night dining with the Automat. The concept is simple, a coin-operated, serve yourself, fast food restaurant. It requires little maintenance, there is no seating and little to no interaction with staff. It keeps costs down, turn over high and profits large.
In Amsterdam, one company, FEBO, are the masters of the market place with 33 locations and growing. The #1 one most popular item is the croquette, a corner stone of Dutch cuisine. It’s basically deep fried meat ragout and covered in breadcrumbs. The “Kroket” is so much a staple in the Netherlands that you can even order the “McKroket” at McDonalds. When you’re (me) wandering the streets of Amsterdam all schnookered up on Heineken and God knows what else, FEBO offers you, quick, greasy, tasty treats…including BURGERS!
After a few too many Heinie’s on a Friday night in Amsterdam, I needed nourishment. As I passed the FEBO in Leidseplein, I knew what I had to do. First I selected a croquette, opting for pork, beef and vegetables but because this is a burger blog, I got the “kaasburger” (cheese burger) with spicy mustard.
The croquette was amazing! Hot, crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside and with all kinds of delicious flavor. Reminded me Uncle Ben’s Country Inn Rice. You know, the 5 minute boil-in-bag rice we all lived off of in college? Imagine it inside fried breading. SO GOOD!
Then onto the burger. Uggggh. It was not good and honestly, if it wasn’t for the telling of a fun story, this burger is hardly worth mentioning. Small, flat, flavorless are 3 things I do NOT look for in a burger. The cheese was ok (as most Dutch cheese is FANTASTIC), the mustard sauce was tangy and at least the bun had seeds, none of which made up for a cheap, crappy burger.
My advice, head over to the Heineken “Brouwery” for the Heineken Experience and load up on the Netherland’s finest beer. Don’t forget to make your own bottle (see below.) Not so much into beer? May I suggest Rokerij “coffee shop”. Then when your good and munchy, take that pile of shrapnel (slang for European pocket change), walk into a Febo and load up on a Rundvleeskrokets.